Saturday, Jan. 10

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Citizen's appeal will cost city     Send a link to a friend

[JAN. 10, 2004]  The Lincoln City Council learned on Monday that the city will probably need to hire an attorney for their defense at a court hearing. A Lincoln resident who has had a long-running dispute over an ordinance violation with the city lost his case before a Logan County judge and is planning an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.   [Click here for pictures]

On Nov. 20, 2002, at the Logan County Courthouse, Judge Charles Feeney III ordered Gordon McCann to clean up his properties. The properties that McCann owns are located at 120 Webster and 1714 N. Jefferson St. The judge has given him until Feb. 13 to get the job done.

While the city's attorney, Bill Bates, asked for $50-per-day fine to be assessed back to May of 2002, a state statute only allows fines of $750 per count. McCann was charged on five counts for a total fine of only $3,750 for the violations.

Bates said it may be possible that the appeal may be premature, but McCann has filed a notice of appeal already.

The city will need specialized appellate counsel to handle the matter, Bates said. A representative will cost $3,000 to $5,000 in legal fees to pursue the appeal.

Alderman Verl Prather asked, "What's our other options?"

 

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Bates said, "Don't appear on the appeal, and if he wins we're back in the trial court, and if he loses we're still where we are right now.

"There's been three city attorneys before me have tried to get these properties cleaned up. It hasn't happened yet. He's under court order to do it now," Bates said

Bill Busby said, "I would say that he has been a thorn in our side for a number of years."

Alderman Benny Huskins said, "Well, it's going to cost you $5,000."

Busby responded, "In my opinion, it might put an end to it, I don't know."

Alderman Jonie Tibbs said, "I'm sorry, I don't understand how you could live this way and the neighbors around there have to accept it."

Bates said the city, city attorney's office and code enforcement officer have all done everything in their power to rectify the situation. "We have prevailed in court, at this point," Bates said.

[Jan Youngquist]

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